Yosemite National Park – Four Mile Trail

California’s Yosemite National Park was the first national park we visited on our three-week road trip through the southwestern United States. As a Swiss, I’m really spoiled by great mountain regions. The vastness and dimensions of this park, which covers about twice the area of the canton of Lucerne (3000 square kilometers), were also enormously fascinating for me and the Yosemite Valley was one of the most beautiful places that I have explored during this time.

Instead of barren sandstone and rocky landscapes, you will find in Yosemite National Park, about 300 kilometers from San Francisco, a beautiful mountain landscape with waterfalls, clear streams, rocks made of granite and giant redwoods. It offers countless opportunities for day trips as well as routes lasting several days.

Our accommodation due to the small offer of sleeping possibilities in the park was in the ski area Mammoth Lakes, which is about 2 hours away and which is supposed to also be a great hiking and biking area in summer. From there we drove for our first hiking trip into the Yosemite Valley to the starting point «Trailhead Four Mile Trail». If you don’t want a long drive in the morning, you should look for accommodation as early as possible. By the way, the mountain route «CA-120» that we used is only open for a short time in summer. For this reason, you should not look for an overnight accommodation in Mammoth Lakes or east of Yosemite park during spring or autumn for your hikes.

The more than 9 km long tour of the Four Mile Trail leads up to Glacier Point, which is located at 2200 meters above sea level. It is rightly one of the most popular lookout points in Yosemite National Park because it overlooks the entire Yosemite Valley with the monumental Half Dome in the center and gives you a great impression of this beautiful area. Since the Glacier Point (unfortunately) is not only accessible via the hiking trail but also from the other side by road, the crowd is quite large, especially in the summer months. On the Four Mile Trail itself, we met significantly fewer people and you can enjoy the view for yourself. The panoramic hike offers superb views of Sentinel Rock, Cathedral Rocks, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, the Royal Arches and the Merces River on the trail, this makes the challenge of over 1000 meters of altitude difference and approx 3 hours walking time definitely worth it.

It is very likely that on this hike you will encounter greedy but very friendly squirrels. I could not help feeding the cute rodents with nuts from my travel provisions (you should not do that, I know). If you’re patient, they literally will eat out of your hand.

After a cool, well-deserved drink (toilet facilities and kiosk are available at Glacier Point) we then got ready for the descent. Whoever wants to return more comfortably back to the starting point can make use of a shuttle bus. Fortunately, this service was not on offer on our hiking day, which is why some «one-way hikers» did not do the Four Mile Trail.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit this great national park, I can highly recommend this hiking route. You will not regret it. 🙂

No Comments

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.